Coming of age in any form of social process of development is not easy – especially when there are so many hazards and blockages that are, knowingly or unknowingly, put on the way to hamper endeavours to an all rounded maturity.

Eritrea is way back in the ‘wilderness’ and is now progressing towards an existential threat.  It has gradually and, finally, dawned on Eritreans that they had a hand in the making of what Eritrea has become in this tragic turn of its internal affairs that took decades to figure out.

It is beyond the scope of this short exposure to go through the complex details of every turn and twist that brought Eritrea to this sorry state – a heightened state of a make-or-break situation or a gradual and assured transition to a much more ‘meaningless’ existence, if at all.


Why indeed...  or, what?

It makes more sense as it is rather than going through every letter to clarify what they stand for.  It has to be done, nevertheless.

For someone who knows nothing about Eritrea, YPFDJ are a bunch of letters one can pick up from a set of alphabets – KLMNO, for example.  In fact, Eritrea is well-known for its non-existence or, insignificance.  How a thing could be well-known for being unknown probably demands a field of study not existent yet.

And yet, YPFDJ is, to a certain extent, a force that has the potential to pull Eritrea out of its misery – instead of dragging the country to oblivion by its (YPFDJs) very foundation of ignorance and denial.

PFDJ stands for Peoples Front for Democracy and Justice.  The Y stands for Young.  There is no E to stand for Eritrea.

As it currently stands (too many ‘stands’ here for a nation that has no legs to stand on), Eritrea has nothing to show for them:

P – People are fleeing the country or are treated as if they are worth nothing.

F – Front for what... perhaps a cover-up for a shop-window to hide the goodies or baddies inside.

D – Democracy.  Talk of democracy in a country with no elections for 28 years!

J – Justice. There is no constitution or rule of law to even talk about.

Y is for young people and they are the majority of the population who are leaving the country or being wasted in military service or as slave labour for endless years.  Then, there are those who die trying to leave or wither away in prison.

YPFDJs are, in short, young Eritreans born or raised abroad who are led by the older generation of Eritreans (parents and PFDJ party officials) who gather under the cover of staying in contact with their cultural heritage and support ‘Eritrea’ in its proud history of independence and development.  After so many years of inculcation, the cultural heritage has turned into a CULT, independence has morphed into slavery and displacement and the idea of development has lost its meaning.

Under ‘normal’ processes of social changes, it is the young who are supposed to participate and take action in becoming the change they want to be.  In YPFDJ Eritrea, action delayed is action not taken – not even considered.  Injustice has taken its toll.

From this sketch of a background, a former YPFDJ comes of age.  He presents his ‘coming of age’ process on Youtube.

Gabriel Guangul

22 July 2019



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